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Washington state issued its first license to produce and process recreational marijuana this week. The grower who received the license says he expects to have marijuana plants ready to harvest within two months, Reuters reports.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) issued the license to Sean Green, who will operate his business under the trade name Kouchlock Productions, the board said in a statement. Green already grows and sells medical marijuana. He has 5,000 square feet of cultivation space, but the new license will allow him to have 21,000 square feet to cultivate recreational-use marijuana.

In November 2012, Colorado and Washington state voted to legalize small amounts of marijuana for recreational use for anyone at least 21 years old. While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the Justice Department has announced it will allow Colorado and Washington to regulate sales of the drug. The department will focus enforcement on criminal charges in specific areas, such as distribution to minors.

Legal sales of recreational marijuana began in Colorado in early January. Forty stores around the state are now selling recreational marijuana. Colorado already had a system in place for licensing medical marijuana suppliers, the article notes. Those suppliers became the first group of outlets permitted to sell recreational marijuana.

While medical marijuana was already legal in Washington, the state did not have a system to formally regulate its supply and distribution. The WSLCB said it is currently processing more than 2,800 producer license applications.



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